A balloon filled with anti-North Korea leaflets found in Gangwon’s Hongcheon
A defectors' group in South Korea sent anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border, despite warnings and criticism from both sides to halt such activities.
The operation is likely to further stoke inter-Korean tensions.
Seoul's unification ministry has expressed strong regret over the group's latest campaign, and vowed to levy strong punishment
Ron Chang reports.
Park Sang-hak, the head of the Fighters for a Free North Korea, said members of his organization sent 500,000 anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border in 20 giant helium-filled balloons late Monday night.
Under the cover of darkness, Park said they were able to avoid police detection as they released the balloons from the city of Paju near the Demilitarized Zone.
He claimed they also sent 2,000 one dollar bills and 1,000 SD cards.
According to police, one of the balloons was found in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province.
The unification ministry expressed disappointment over the move, saying the defector group sent the leaflets in total disregard of government measures and penalties barring such acts.
Noting that the leaflet campaign significantly raises inter-Korean tensions and threatens the lives of residents in border areas, the ministry said it will work with law enforcement and related agencies to sternly deal with Park and his group.
North Korea will likely criticize the latest leafleting as it has since early this month.
Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of leader Kim Jong-un, threatened to scrap a 2018 military tension reduction agreement with Seoul and all cross-border exchanges if the leaflet campaigns continue.
Those threats led to the North cutting off all communication lines and blowing up the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong last week.
Pyongyang said it's also planning to conduct its own leaflet campaign against the South.
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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